Sunday, March 26, 2017

When Words Become Stumbling Blocks

There is an opinion out there, even among people who agree that the Westcott and Hort revision was based on corrupt Greek texts. that the English translations that have come down to us from that revision aren't really a problem.  They may not go as far as defenders of the revision do, believing that the great variety of translations is a blessing to the Church, but they don't really see anything wrong with it either.  They're just translations after all, it's no big deal.  Or something like that.

But this is a big mistake.  It isn't just the bad Greek that's a problem, it's the bad English on top of the bad Greek, and it's more than that:  the multiple translations are not only bad they are destructive to the unity of the Church. 

This hit me hard again today as I was starting to read a book by Rosaria Butterfield, which is titled Openness Unhindered, and found her wrapping her thoughts around this phrase from the Book of Acts, giving it the weight of God's own words when it's just a translation from the New American Standard Bible version.  It's an attractive enough phase, and we certainly should be able to treat the words of our English Bible as God's, but if you don't have a NAS version you won't recognize that attractive phrase that's being treated as if it were God's very words, and beyond that, it's not even clear if it's based on the Greek words inspired by God either.   Certainly it's based on the "Critical Text" which incorporates Westcott and Hort's Greek text abomination, but I don't even know if the English fits the Greek of that text.  The NAS has the reputation of being an accurate translation of the Greek, but I wouldn't be able to find out without spending far too much time at it.

Rosaria Butterfield is a deep thinker and I'm sure she'll use the phrase to make some important observations about Christian life  (which I'll read as soon as I get this complaint written out which has so rudely interrupted my reading of her book).  Meanwhile it just breaks my heart that Christians have to struggle with these disturbances of God's word, the Bible on which we all depend.  We're ordinary people, we're not Greek scholars or experts in the English language.  I know God leads many through the various modern translations, and that He protects us from serious problems, but it can't be a good thing that we aren't all reading the same Bible.

As a reminder, I'm not a KJV-onlyist, but because it's the only Bible NOT based on the corrupted Greek texts, AND because it has always had a reputation as great literature, surely we have to give it more weight than all the modern corrupted Bibles.  I think we should chuck them all out myself, and start all over with a serious God-fearing team of scholars just to see what alterations to the KJB might really be necessary and important.  That's what the revising committee that was hijacked by Westcott and Hort was supposed to do, however, so I can't be very optimistic that this could be done today with the necessary expertise and, above all, restraint, but if it could, that's the only way we might get a good Bible we can all read.

Anyway, here's a comparison of the NAS passage and the KJV translation of it:

And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.


And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,   Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

So.  Where to begin with the complaints about this.

1)  Start here:  Surely it is obvious that the NAS's "teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness unhindered" is NOT the same as "teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no man forbidding."  

The first part is close enough in meaning but such different wording means people who memorize their Bibles are memorizing different twords and won't be able to recognize each other's quotation.  This can't be a good thing for Christian unity.

Then we have to ask concerning the last part, is "openness unhindered" an accurate translation of what the Greek says?  I think we can be fairly sure that the KJV's "with all confidence, no man forbidding," is accurate.  So how different are the underlying Greek texts?   Since the NAS is based on a compilation of Greek texts which includes the W&H fraud, the Critical Text, why would they choose a reading SO different from that of the traditional text on which the KJV is based?  Why?  Is this one of those cases where they just had to come with different enough wording to justify having a new translation at all?  And if so, this is deceitful.

And exactly how is "rented quarters" a NECESSARY change from "hired house?"  Or "two FULL years" for "two WHOLE years.   Gratuitous changes to stumble the Church.   Why why why do otherwise solid Christians put up with this?

2)   Then I have my usual complaint about the NAS:  its klutzy English.  And this is definitely Westcott and Hort's fault. 

"Was welcoming" all who came to him:  This is just bad English.  According to Burgon it's the result of the bad Greek AND bad English of Westcott and Hort.  And the NAS is full of this kind of trashing of the English language, even presented as an improvement in the rendering of the Greek when it's only a silly aping of Greek phrasing at the expense of good English.

We can't all read Dean Burgon.  I love him to pieces but I can't get through all his arguments either.  I pray for a new generation of scholars who will rise up and shake off the influences undermining the Church, a big one being the proliferation of translations and corrupted Greek texts.

The Church has been falling apart over the last century in both little and big ways.  Unfortunately we often forget that "judgment begins at the house of God" and if we stop to consider it there's plenty that God must be judging, and we can't get very far in restoring the culture until this is faced and undone.  The new versions are a big part of the undermining of the Church, but it started before that.  W&H were certainly the product of the Liberal Theology that came out of Germany not long before, and there was no doubt some influence of Darwin and Marx in the mix, and an important one was the Oxford movement which undermined Reformed thinking by its insidious infiltration of Catholicisms into the Anglican Church, and we know W&H had Catholic sympathies.  So there's a lot going on in the 19th century that contributed to the Church's undoing.  Maybe we should include Finney's influence as well.  Then, as I keep suspecting and suggesting, the abandonment of the woman's head covering is probably a much bigger part of it than even I am usually willing to argue, which of course feeds into the Feminist influences that have also infiltrated liberal churches, and now we even have practicing homosexual clergy.  The Bible versions are all interwoven with all of this.  We have a very sick Church but do we have any idea how sick?

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Simonides' claim to be the creator of Codex Sinaiticus continues to strengthen

Chris Pinto's radio show on 10/4/16, Codex Sinaiticus Revisited is a review and update of the evidence for Constantine Simonides' claim to have been the author of Codex Sinaiticus, a claim that grows more solid as others have done their own research based on Chris' work and become convinced of Simonides' claim.   I pray that his work will become instrumental in setting the Church free of what is in fact a huge lie foisted on Christian scholarship that serves only to undermine the authority of the Bible.

Chris is proving himself to be a dogged researcher capable of solving important historical mysteries, in this case overturning the accepted explanations of the status of Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus as authentic ancient manuscripts.   But all his documentaries have that stamp of original research, all reveal something important that goes against the accepted understanding, such as the character of the American founding, such as the influence of Alfred Kinsey. 

(Incidentally, he also deserves credit for solving the mystery of The Georgia Guidestones monument, actually tracking down the man who created it, and recording his investigation in the documentary Dark Clouds Over Elberton.  I found the revelation of the philosophical bent of its creator surprising myself, but it all hangs together.)

The evidence for Simonides' claims includes the validation of his credentials as a genuine paleographer and scholar of ancient manuscripts,  his legal acquittal of the charge of forgery, and Tischendorf's retraction of that accusation when he came to see that Simonides' Greek copy of the Shepherd of Hermas was genuine, and identical to the copy included in Codex Sinaiticus; as well as the testimony of a Greek monk who knew Tischendorf, exposing his story about finding the manuscript as a lie; and knew that Simonides was its author; plus the credibility of his own defense which was published in a London newspaper.  Chris reviews all this and probably more that I've forgotten. 

Eventually those who insist on dismissing Simonides should have to change their minds.

And I'm sure Chris depends on the Lord to guide him.  New revelations of the sort he produces show God's handiwork it seems to me.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Chris Pinto's Bridge to Babylon focuses on the Revision of 1881

Perhaps the bad English of the modern Bible translations isn't the most important thing, but I almost can't listen to any reading of any of them for that reason.  The NASB continues to be considered a particularly good translation so it is read regularly on my local Christian radio station, and John MacArthur, one of my favorite teachers, quotes from it in his sermons.  MacArthur also defends it as a good translation because it's true to the Greek text, an opinion that makes me cringe for another reason, since it's the corrupted Greek texts behind the modern Bibles that are the main reason they should be rejected.

Convincing people about this who aren't already convinced can seem like a lost cause, but I'm always happy when a new effort is made.  Chris Pinto's latest documentary, Bridge to Babylon, is now available [at Noise of Thunder radio or Adullam Films] and it promises to be a thorough expose' of the many different ways the 1881 English Revision is untrustworthy.  He has done a couple of radio programs about the film that should help show why it's important:  Look for the titles Bridge to Babylon on 9/1 and The Critical Text on 9/2.{UPDATE 10/8:  he's added a number of programs on the documentary since then].

My copy of Bridge to Babylon is on its way and I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Simonides, Sinaiticus etc.

Got myself into a "discussion" of Sinaiticus and Simonides at EvC forum, without really intending to, and was pounced on by a couple of the regulars there who seem to be more interested in shooting down anything I say, or that Chris Pinto has to say, than in the actual facts of the matter.  But I thought I'd mention it here in case anyone happens by who would like to check it out.  Perhaps they've come up with something of interest, or maybe it's just a lot of hot air.  The discussion starts roughly about HERE

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's All Going Down, Isn't It?

I did originally have in mind collecting many of the various mistreatments of scripture that were the result of the Revision of 1881 but haven't been up to it lately. I suppose I may yet get to it, but meanwhile I'm more or less waiting and wondering if there will be more to the Simonides story to post about.

Whether Simonides' claims to be the author of Codex Sinaiticus turn out to be true or not, however, John Burgon has already made the case very well that Sinaiticus is corrupt and should not be taken seriously, leaving the KJV as the only trustworthy Bible.  Nevertheless, despite what seems to me and others to be such an excellent case against it, Sinaiticus continues to be held up by Academia as "the oldest and best" of the Greek manuscripts and therefore its destructive effect on the Bible unfortunately has a clear path.

Chris Pinto's most recent radio program Cardinal Dolan and the Bible Hunters discusses a BBC production, The Bible Hunters, which makes it quite explicit that Codex Sinaiticus all by itself has destroyed the grounds of faith in the Bible for many Christians.

The other part of his show addresses Cardinal Dolan's affirmation that despite all the usual Plausible Deniability the Pope is promoting civil unions for homosexuals.  These two subjects are related of course because once the Bible has been discredited nothing it says about homosexuality has to be taken seriously.  And as Pinto points out, once the Pope is understood to be supporting gay unions the path is clear for the persecution of Christians who continue to hold to the Biblical view of homosexuality as sin.  Already what was once understood to be an unnatural act even by nonChristians, that couldn't even be imagined to gain the support as a normal activity it has today, is now used as a weapon against Christians, branding us as bigots and "haters" who lack Christian "love" of all things.  Christendom, once so-called, is already battered and bleeding from the destruction of the Bible, now it's just a matter of lining up the remaining Christians in front of the execution squad.  The devil must be very proud of his work.

We've known it's coming for some time, but now it seems it could all come down very rapidly in the near future.  This Pope could very well be the last Pope and the final Antichrist must therefore be just around the corner.

I'd like to think we might still be able to turn many in the churches to the truth about these things.  There are far too many Christians who accept the authenticity of the Bible-killing Codex Sinaiticus.  And what grounds do we then REALLY have for winning others to Christ?  Some hold to the illusion that the Bible remains inerrant even as they embrace as authentic the bogus texts that prove it's not.   I don't have much hope that they can be turned of course, all this is happening so fast and it's so depressing it's even hard to pray about it. 

I want to hope, however.   But our real hope is in Christ anyway, whatever happens on this earth. 

Look up for your redemption draweth nigh.    

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nice Comment on Pinto's Post-Debate radio show

Chris Pinto on yesterday's radio show did his own review of Hiram Diaz's review which I posted below this one. 

This was by "mt" who appears to have read one of my blog posts, which of course makes me happy, and does a very nice job of saying what the debate was all about.


I think Dr. White's comments are a testament to just how successful the watering down of seminary / church history education in America is. As a former Catholic I can certainly testify of how startling it is to wake up to the facts of Rome's historical influences and how much further reaching they are than what we have been taught. But it seems strange that reformed believers want to argue the other side of the debate... perhaps b/c they haven't experienced what it feels like to come out of the stupor of false doctrine, and don't understand how deep it goes or how underhandedly it has been perpetrated on the world. This is perhaps also owed to the success of the propaganda put forth in modern day academia.   (I say this as someone with a master's level education myself. The elitism in academia can be overbearing.)

From listening to the debate, it "appeared" that Dr. White wanted to divert attention to the Jesuits, as a tactic to discredit Chris, b/c White does not see credibility in any of CJP's historical research on their reported conspiratorial behaviors. Probably also b/c he had such a weak argument against the actual topic. After all, these S.J.'s are so nice and smooth talking, they couldn't possibly be bad. Right? I would guess he knows that if he says something dogmatically and authoritatively enough, and often enough, his followers will still believe what he says without bothering to check it out for themselves. Quoting James White seems to bear as much authority as quoting scripture for some folks. Some of the blog posts of those who think he "won" would bear this out, IMO. The statements they make have no substance to suggest otherwise. But it seems clear Dr. White has a lot invested in his viewpoint and doesn't want to budge. No surprises there. I don't think it's any coincidence either that he was given the last word.

I think Chris was very gracious, Christ-like, and polite. But, in spite of Chris' composed demeanor, White, while more polite than usual, not only tried to detract from the agreed upon topic, but also hit below the belt at least a couple times with condescending remarks. I still find that disconcerting, because it seems the "debate" forum for him was more an attempt to squelch Chris' research and prove his own right-ness than it was to seek truth. He attempted to dominate the debate, restate the "rules", cut Chris off, hold Chris to standards he can't hold himself to, and justify himself as graciously deigning to take time to debate Chris because of his supposed noble mission to disprove Chris' theory.

I believe Chris' forthright manner and clearly stated historical citations showed his character to be above that of his "opponent". Time will tell how God will use it to expose the truth of the authenticity of these manuscripts vs those that uphold those time-tested scriptures, integral to our faith and the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ. God may have opened a door through this debate to do just that. It seems Chris' film-making and podcasting experience prepared him well to deal with the time constraints of his first formal debate.

Meanwhile, we can only hope and pray that some of Chris' accusers will be convicted in their hearts and repent and apologize for calling him "a liar". These are the very people who demanded Chris' apologies and have not yet humbled themselves to do likewise. We will continue to pray that Chris will continue to be a shining light in spite of them, and will continue to rise above his critics. We all have the challenge of not becoming embittered when attacked in this manner and, from what I can see, Chris' priorities are right in this regard.

Best Review of the Debate, by Hiram Diaz

Chris Pinto posted this at his site, and HERE is the original source.  There is also a link to the debate itself there. I don't know who Hiram Diaz is but he absolutely nailed it about the debate:

by Hiram Diaz

Although I enjoy listening to debates, I’m not a big fan of them. This may sound contradictory, so let me explain. On the one hand, debates are a great way to become familiar with different points of view, be they non-Christian or Christian. In this respect, I appreciate the knowledge that can be gained from assessing each point and counterpoint making up the debate.

However, on the other hand, personality can often take the place of sound reasoning. The more aggressively one pursues his debate opponent, for instance, the stronger he appears to the audience, as one who is in the right. Why? Because his personality trumps the weakness of his argumentation. Thus, debates can swing in the favor of men who present well, as opposed to presenting their case well.

The debate over whether or not Codex Sinaiticus is a modern forgery, a debate between James White and Chris Pinto was, unfortunately, one that made me dislike debates even more.

Before I listened to the background information that Pinto presented in his documentary and on his podcast/radio show, I was pretty sure James White’s statements about Pinto’s ideas being far-fetched and based on loose threads woven together by conspiracy were right.

But when the debate took place a couple nights ago, I saw that Dr. White was wrong. Pinto presented documented history that challenged the official story regarding Simonides (i.e. the man who claimed to have penned Codex Sinaiticus); Dr. White, however, did not refute Pinto’s challenge.
Dr. White appealed to authority, asking Pinto if he had ever collated manuscripts of the Bible or if he was competent in Greek, in an attempt to show that Pinto’s ignorance was the only justification he had for believing that the case of Simonides was not a closed case.
But this kind of reasoning is fallacious.

Pinto was not arguing from the standpoint of one who knew either the collation process or was competent in, if not a scholar of, koine Greek. His credentials in these two fields (i.e. manuscript collation and ancient Greek) is completely irrelevant.

Pinto’s argument was drawn from historical records regarding the events and persons surrounding Codex Sinaiticus. Dr. White, therefore, had no reason to ask for such credentials. If the historical data Pinto presented are to be jettisoned, then Dr. White should have presented an argument in favor of ditching the historical sources to which Pinto made reference. But Dr. White did no such thing.

Also, Dr. White reduced Pinto’s cogent reasoning to a “conspiracy theory,” a term which is often used in American media to dismiss viewpoints that contradict the official story. And Dr. White used it in just that way. In other words, Dr. White uncritically dismissed Pinto’s argument to a “conspiracy theory.”

In short, here are the problems I had with the debate:

1. Dr. White argued fallaciously, appealing to authority when no such appeal was relevant to the matter at hand.

2. Dr. White made assertions, central to his argument, that cannot be empirically verified. For instance, he claimed that the task of manuscript collation could not be done by a nineteen year old. This is not an argument, nor is it an empirically verifiable fact, as it is a universal proposition. There are many people in history who have accomplished great things at even younger ages. Are these people historical fictions? If they are real people, then are the historical accounts of their great abilities to be dismissed as “conspiracy theories” or overblown accounts of otherwise “normal” individuals?

This is not a point that can be taken very seriously, moreover, considering the renown that Simonides had for his unusual intellectual gifts as a young man. Whether or not he was a prodigy, I don’t know. However, when there is evidence of men speaking highly of Simonides’ superior intellectual endowments, and there is no evidence to prove that a nineteen year old cannot collate biblical manuscripts and form a unique copy of the Bible from those collated texts, the testimony of writers contemporaneous with Simonides actually holds weight, where Dr. White’s assertion has none.
Chris Pinto presented a logically cogent case for his position. Dr. James White neither presented a logically cogent case, nor did he succeed in refuting Pinto’s position.

Again, Pinto presented actual historical documentation that drills numerous holes into the “official” story regarding Simonides, whereas Dr. White simply dismissed Pinto’s sources, failing to provide counter evidence to Pinto’s argument. Consequently, it is Pinto, in my opinion, who won the debate.

And what is troubling to me is that many will not (i.)be able to identify Dr. White’s fallacious reasoning and (ii.)will depend on personalities in their assessment of the debate.